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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday Links (1/9)

So our old pal Jim Mora got canned in Seattle. I'm assuming that was Mike Vick's fault.

His replacement appears to be Pete Carroll, who looks kinda bad here... like when I sold my old Pontiac Sunbird in the mid '90s about six weeks before the doors fell off.

USC's likely target is Mike Riley at Oregon State, because stealing the second-best coach in your conference to replace the best coach in your conference is a good way to make friends in your conference.

And if all of that happens, we're looking at a grand total (so far) of 21 head coaching changes at FBS schools this offseason (i.e. 18 percent turnover).

That's actually down one from last year, when 22 changes occurred at FBS schools, but it's still the fourth most in a year since 2001.

In fact, since Mark Richt's first year on the job at Georgia, there have been 144 coaching changes at the FBS level -- or in other words, one for every other school in D1 college football with another 15 left over. And that's not even including the Pete Carroll situation yet... or whatever the heck Urban Meyer is doing.

Following the 2000 season, we had 25 changes at head coaching jobs at FBS schools. In the next five seasons, that number topped 20 just once. Now, it has happened three times in the last four seasons.

It's hard to argue that schools aren't getting less patient and that the competition isn't more intense. Especially when you have guys like Nick Saban who turn around a program in three years and never crack a smile.

Along with the turnover comes big money, too. Georgia Sports Blog looks at the escalating contracts for college coaches and sees no end in sight. Whether that's a good thing remains to be seen, but it no doubt will make life more complicated (and make the fact that players have to maintain amateur status while their coaches make $10 million a year even more absurd).

In the SEC, there has been just one official coaching change this year, with Rich Brooks stepping down at Kentucky to make room for Joker Phillips. Had Brooks stayed on one more year, it would have been just the second season this decade in which the SEC didn't have any coaching changes. (Again, depending on what happens eventually with Corch Meyers.)

And while it's the SEC that drives the bus in terms of economics, it's pretty easy to see how the price tags for top coaches keep going up. The fact is, there aren't many truly great head coaches. It's a limited and scarce commodity.

On the other hand, the top jobs in college football used to have tons of stability. But just this offseason we've seen coaching changes at Notre Dame and Florida State, potentially another at USC and potentially another at Florida. Those are four of probably the 10 most coveted jobs in the sport. Add to that the notion that a bad season in 2010 could certainly open things up at Michigan and LSU and you have two more big jobs available. Saban's making nearly $5 million a year, but if those six schools got in a bidding war for his services tomorrow, he'd be earning double that.

So what does all this mean? I dunno, really. It's just the marketplace at work. But it should be a reminder to all of you who wanted Mark Richt's head on the chopping block that, 1.) His salary is pretty darned reasonable compared to other top coaches, and 2.) Finding a replacement with better credentials won't be an easy (or inexpensive) task.

In this day and age, the most prudent thing a school with a successful track record can do is be patient.

And now, some more links, many of which are also coaching-related...

-- Leather Helmet Blog says he's hearing that Kirby Smart is likely to leave 'Bama and that Georgia seems the more obvious destination. I can't confirm (or even bolster) anything he writes, but I'll say this: I'd be less surprised by all of that today than I was two days ago.

-- Tim Tucker takes a second look at Nick Saban's post-game news conference quotes and reads a few tea leaves along the way to predict that, just maybe, there was some pointed advice in there for Kirby.

-- Red, Black & Three Sheets to the Wind has some advice for Georgia fans if the hire happens to be Todd Grantham: Get excited! (That said, now that the Kirby Smart stuff is heating up again, how can Georgia fans be expected to be excited over anyone who is not Kirby?)

-- T Kyle King isn't getting too worked up about either candidate, but he sure as heck wants someone to get hired soon. (And to answer your question, Mr. King... let's say, Tuesday at 6:52 p.m. First round of panic-related whiskey shots are on me.)

-- Georgia earned seven votes in the final AP poll but it was still the first time in 13 years that they didn't finish in the top 25.

-- The AJC has its list of the top 50 football recruits in the state. Georgia has the first two locked up, but doesn't have another in the top 10.

-- Former Georgia linebackers coach John Jancek found a home with some ties to his past.

-- Yesterday I posted a link to a story where Peyton Hillis knocked Knowshon Moreno, and dozens of Denver fans followed suit. Today, here's a link to a site hoping to defend the former Bulldogs RB.

Just as a side note, since a lot of people were shocked by how hard the Denver fans were on Knowshon, I'll say this: Knowshon is a really likable guy when you get to know him, but fans never get to know players. What you also get to know is, when Knowshon isn't on the football field, he really doesn't care about football at all. (You'll remember that he didn't know who Roger Goodell was and he forgot to file his paperwork with the NFL advisory board.) He takes his game extremely seriously, but he doesn't get caught up in all the other stuff like fans do. And at the tail end of a season in which Denver started 6-0 and dropped eight of their last 10, I can see how that would rub some fans the wrong way. But again... I think that's because they don't really know Knowshon.

-- Mark Fox's crew may be riding high after beating Tech, but the task gets a lot tougher today in Lexington.

-- Georgia Tech is the "Waterworld" of BCS teams. No ratings. No attendance.

-- Two more big stories at Tech: BeBe Thomas is headed for the NFL and it's the end of the line for defensive coordinator Dave Wommack.

-- Georgia Sports Blog links to this yesterday, but Andy Staples' column for SI following the national championship game is really one worth reading.

-- It's not that I want to dislike Urban Meyer. I want to be objective and dispassionate. But man, this just makes me mad. And I assume it makes his wife even more mad.

-- The late-night shake-up is likely to send Conan O'Brien packing... for FOX. I actually see that as a good thing.

-- R.I.P. to the creator of Gumby. And while we're at it, a long-delayed R.I.P. to Eddie Murphy's career.

-- I can forgive his failure to pass a decent health care bill or his broken campaign promises or his lack of a decent means of satire on "Saturday Night Live"... but if Obama postpones the premier of "Lost" for his State of the Union address, I'm gonna be very, very angry. Luckily the creators of the show are already trying to strike a deal.

(And actually, the White House seems to have already addressed the issue promptly. Now, if only they did the same for the flammable underwear guy, they could have saved Glenn Beck a lot of heartache.)

-- Meanwhile, ABC is trying to find a way to keep "Lost" alive -- in some form or fashion -- after this season. (I can only assume it will be a travesty, whatever it is.)

-- The return of "Flash Forward" got pushed back another two weeks. Does anyone care anymore?

-- Alyson Hannigan has a favorite for who she'd like to be the mother on "How I Met Your Mother."

-- And finally, this is a pretty sad story about what Roger Ebert's life is like now. He seems to have a good attitude about it... but I just can't imagine.


Anonymous said...

"I'd be less surprised by all of that today than I was two days ago."

You can't leave us hanging like that Hale. What's changed in the last 2 days that makes you believe that.


David Hale said...

All I can really say -- because none of it is substantive at the moment -- is that I was hearing all along that Kirby and UGA were more rumor than fact. The past 48 hours or so, I've been hearing more buzz that maybe there's more than that. But again... that doesn't really mean anything, just that I'm not as sold against the idea as I was before.

Anonymous said...

I love this blog.

Drew B. said...

Just wanted to make sure everyone knew they could see the Coaches' Trophy today at the local Walmart in Tuscaloosa...

The Watch Dawg said...

NBC is stupid for shaking up their lineup. Big time indian givers they are.

FOX can now officially be my favorite network. 24 AND Conan? WINNNNNN.

Paul said...

I look forward to hearing who the DC is going to be. Wouldn't that suck if Tech hired Smart or Grantham? I don't really care about perception, but can you imagine the crowing if they hired one of those two before we hired our DC?

Of course, their defense has scored nearly as many points as the vaunted offense in their last two bowl games: 10-7.

As far as the situation at UF, can we all just agree that the entire thing was a ploy to motivate the team to "win one for the gipper" in the Sugar and to bump recruiting? "I need you here at Florida so much I'm taking time from my needed time of absence to make sure you're a Gator." All is fair in SEC football, my friends. I'd say Meyer will be prowling the sidelines come September. I just hope Mark Richt has a chance to burn some timeouts at the end of the Cocktail Party in '10.

Lastly, David, I think Florida is the favorite in '10 for the east. I don't know that you could make the case for Georgia at the moment given that we'll be starting a rs-fr QB and with our defensive losses. The more I think about it, the more it seems that '11 is going to be our next best chance to win the east/SEC.

UGA69Dawg said...

Knowshon was a great college running back but his lack of speed is going to doom him to average back status in the NFL. In college he could shake and bake as good as any I have seen but Pro LB's and DB's are paid lots of money to not let RB's do that to them. He would have been gold in the old Denver system but the new one needs a better O Line. Still he was the 2nd best modern era RB UGA has had and I will be pulling hard for him.

Dawgfan1307 said...

Any word on an ETA on Rennie's decision? Is it something to take solace in that he hasn't announced he was leaving like Reshad?

You gotta know something.. talk to me Hale!

David Hale said...

Everything I had heard said he was leaving and, as I noted earlier in the week, Reshad was expecting Rennie to announce the same day as him, but the fact that there is now a delay tells me that he is probably waiting until the DC gets hired and will take it into consideration. We shall see.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what the jab at Glenn Beck ("Now, if only they did the same for the flammable underwear guy, they could have saved Glenn Beck a lot of heartache.") has to do with anything in the post. I read your posts daily, but I will say that I am sure that I am not alone as a reader who is also fan of Beck. Political jabs in a sports blog that aren't aimed at sports related topics will only serve to alienate readers to your posts.

Anonymous said...

David, would you say that BeBe Thomas dropped the ball on his decision?

Anonymous said...

Players should be able to transfer and not sit out if the coach is fired or leaves. It is foolish to think nowdays that the player signs for the school. What about PJ over at Tech or Meyer at FLA? If someone signs up at QB at those two schools he is going there for the system and the coach not the school.

These schools pay tons of cash to coaches and then fire the guy or he leaves for greener pastures like Notre Dame. Player does not fit new system and has to go to D-II or sit out a year at another school. Even worse is that new coaches like their own recruited players and tend to regulate holdover to helmet holding status.

Just seems quite unfair and NCAA is too busy banishing indian mascots to GAS.

Anonymous said...

1)In response to your comment about Richt, if he had won a national championship at UGA after only three years, he would be making considerably more money then he presently is. 2) Georgia considers itself to be a major player in big-time college football. That was true for a brief period when Herschel was carrying the pigskin, but now, maybe not so much as the fanbase would like to think. That remains to be seen. What is for sure, though, if UGA wants to be a big-time player in the future, then it had better get used to paying out big bucks. You get what you pay for.

Anonymous said...

Tubs to TTech....confirmed

Trey said...

David Pollack just tweeted that its all but a done deal that Smart is coming.

David Hale said...

The "all but" is the key right now... stay tuned

Trey said...

Considering I'm not in the in at all, I can only imagine they are waiting to see a counter offer from Bama before he decides to leave. Im assuming he likes our offer, and has given it to Bama and is waiting to see what they do to keep him.

Trey said...

I really hope Dallas loses tonight and we go after Grantham hard. His resume excites me much more than does that of Mr. Smart. Food for thought...if Kirby had gone to school anywhere else how bad would we want him then?

Michael A said...

Everytime I look at Urban Meyer I hear the intro to Sixty Minutes. Tick. Tick. Tick.

Anonymous said...

Kirby's coming back! hope it works out. 4 yrs. just over $3 mill

Hunch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

There is an offer to Smart for $750,000 per yr. If he doesnt't accept don't be suprised if talk with Muschamp heats up, because Mack Brown wants to coach 10 more yrs.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:30, I agree 100%. Any leftist comments from people who helped put this disasterous group of radicals in office will lose me from this blog. I love me some UGA football, but I will not support the blog of someone who is aiding in ruining my future, and my kids' chances to have the life/opportunities I had. I will not compromise my principles.

Anonymous said...


Your wingnut tears nourish me.

Michael A said...

Regarding politics, this is David's forum and he can do what he wants with it. However, I would humbly suggest that he consider adopting the policy the Dave O'Brien employs with his Braves blog at the AJC: No political comments whatsoever. There are plenty of other forums for that subject and even the most inane political comments tend to spiral into a morass of name calling and other shenanigans. Personally, I check out this blog to forget about politics.

Kathleen said...

Egads. I'm pretty sure David makes light of everything equally. That comment was part of him talking about how important a TV SHOW is to him. A TV show about a polar bear, the last time I watched it... a polar bear and a dinosaur... on an island?

Sorry.. I don't want to offend any foil hat wearers by making fun of "Lost"!

Anonymous said...

Actually, talking about Glenn Beck doesn't have to pertain to politics at all. The guy simply goes hysterical over mundane topics sometimes, and that can be ridiculed. But to Glenn Beck fans, he can do no wrong. I find him amusing myself.

Anonymous said...

Well, there is your answer. Curran to enter the draft.